As the S-400 air-defence deal with Russia gets the green signal, the stage is set for the inking of another $1.2-billion deal between India and Russia for 48 Mi-17V5 helicopters for the Indian Air Force.

State-owned Russian Helicopters has been waiting in the wings to seal the contract, with “negotiations completed at the end of last year.”

In an earlier interaction with BusinessLine , Russian Helicopters CEO Andrey Boginsky had mentioned the company’s keen interest in supplying the Mil-17-V5 military and transport model to the forces. Russia’s arms exporting company JSC Rosoboronexport is to help the helicopter company execute the deal.

Order placement

“IAF is seeking to upgrade its long-range air defence capabilities by acquiring the Russian made S-400 Triumf. Other deals with Russia will follow. We will also be inducting the PAD and AAD, collectively referred to as Pradyumna and Ashwin anti-ballistic missile air defence systems,” said an official. A delegation from the Defence Ministry, which had visited the Kamov Design Bureau of Russian Helicopters in April, was also informed about Mil-17-V5’s capabilities.

“ Placing an order for helicopters for the Indian Navy with our joint venture in India (licence-produced by HAL in Bengaluru) benefits both sides.

“Therefore, we have decided to invite our partners to gain a more detailed familiarisation,” said Andrey Boginskiy, Director General of Russian Helicopters Holding Company, in a statement.

Incidentally, Rosoboronexport (a subsidiary of Rostec State Corporation) has an order backlog of nearly $45 billion.

Its portfolio of orders in India is more than $4 billion, with the Director General of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheev pointing out the aggregate volume of contracts signed between India and Russia will breach the $7-billion mark.

The company is upbeat about its growing demand for combat aircraft, which is set to make up more than 50 per cent of Rosoboronexport’s export delivery volume.